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Cook the Book: Asian Cabbage Rolls with Spicy Pork

Stuffed cabbage is one of those wonderfully forgiving creations that can be flavored with virtually any combination of flavors and still emerge from the oven hearty, delicious, and totally satisfying.

Steamed or sauced; stuffed with pork, beef, lamb, or chicken; there's something magical that happens when the cabbage leaves are stuffed and baked. This recipe for Asian Cabbage Rolls with Spicy Pork from Faith Durand's Not Your Mother's Casseroles takes a savory, gingery approach with a filling inspired by Chinese dumplings.

Instead of white cabbage, these rolls are made with lacy Napa cabbage. The head has bigger leaves, making for easier rolling. The filling is a mix of pork, rice, salted, shredded cabbage, sesame oil, scallion, garlic, and cilantro with a few beaten eggs acting as a binder. After the rolls are formed, you pour a salty, spicy soy-based sauce over them which bastes them while they bake.

Just like almost all of the recipes in Not Your Mother's Casseroles, these cabbage rolls can easily be tweaked to your personal tastes. Not a fan of pork? Substituting ground chicken, turkey, or even tofu would work wonderfully. Like things a little spicier? Add diced chiles to the filling and up the Sriracha. Don't feel like making a separate veggie side dish? Extra vegetables can easily be incorporated into the filling—I'm thinking shredded carrots, bok choy, and edamame would be great here.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Not Your Mother's Casseroles to give away this week.

Adapted from Not Your Mother's Casseroles. Copyright © 2011. Published by Harvard Common Press. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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